Drew Timme admits NIL deals pay more than he would have made in the NBA

In a fantastic one-on-one interview with FS1’s John Fanta, Gonzaga center Drew Timme admitted he will make more money through NIL deals this year than he (likely) would have made as a rookie in the NBA.

This confirms what many in the industry already believed – that a subset of high level college players may be financially better off returning to school than testing their hand in the NBA.

It’s no secret which type of players are the ones opting to return to school. A quick glance at the returning National Player of the Year candidates (besides Timme):

Oscar Tshiebwe – Kentucky

Armando Bacot – North Carolina

Trayce Jackson-Davis – Indiana

Hunter Dickinson – Michigan

(per Jon Rothstein’s preseason predictions)

All are 6’9 and above, all are dominant low post scorers, and all have questions about their outside shooting and defensive mobility. In today’s NBA, that makes them all second round/undrafted roster churn candidates, while college’s longer shot clock and wider lane make them college hoops legends.

And now they get paid like it. Timme refused to go into too much detail about financial figures, justifiably so, but he wasn’t afraid to admit it was more than he expected to make in the NBA. Tshiebwe has notoriously made a lot of money through NIL as well, and Trayce Jackson-Davis recently inked a deal with a prominent bank in Indiana.

So while the one-and-done rule may be coming to an end, costing college basketball some young, marketable star power, it sure sounds like NIL is going to keep some of the game’s biggest stars sticking around for a full four years.

In a lot of ways this is great news for Gonzaga, who have long boasted the best big man development system in the country. More stories like Timme’s will continue to come out of Spokane in the coming years, with Efton Reid and Braden Huff potentially next in line.

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